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Bounty Hunter Investigation
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:31 pm    Post subject: Bounty Hunter Investigation Reply with quote

So I have a bounty hunter character in my game. He wants to ply his trade. Sometimes the focus of the game is about him tracking down a fugitive; other times its just something to do to pick up some cash during the down-time.

Tracking a fugitive IRL can be very challenging and is not something typically done by a lone individual or even a small group. It takes lots of leads and information sources, so tracking someone from one city to another, let alone one planet or sector to another would be very tricky.

So as a GM, to play it out, you pretty much have to leave a trail of bread crumbs, and between the player's ability to pick up on it, and the character's skill rolls (Investigation and/or Streetwise) they have to follow the trail, which can be interesting...if the hunt is the focus of that session.

What I'd like is a bit more abstraction.

--I want it based on the skills, so that the skills have meaning.

--I want it time based, because I use the permit system from the Bounty Hunters sourcebook. If tracking down the fugitive takes longer than the month, then another permit(s) need to be made.

--I want it a bit more involved than a simple roll for success or failure.

--I want the difficulty to reflect how elusive the fugitive is. Presumably the more valuable the target the more elusive.

--Although an outright failure should be rare, I want there to be a real chance of failure; the good bounty hunter should know that he has a good chance of catching his fugitive given enough time...but not with the idea that it's JUST a matter of time.

--The result of the Investigation/ tracking system, if successful will set up a scene where the Bounty Hunter has a solid lead and is ready to intercept. The actual attempted apprehension would be played out in normal fashion.

***
I tend to over-detail rules systems I write up, so I'm looking for some healthy feedback on this.

My basic starting concept is:

Make the investigation or streetwise skill roll daily while on the hunt.
Each roll accumulates.
When the total accumulated value reaches 1/100 of the fugitive's bounty, the hunter gets a scene to try to apprehend.

Example: 20,000cr bounty means the character is trying to accumulate 200 points.

Setbacks:
The fugitive will be given a difficulty based on how elusive he is.
Example: A Petty Thief might be Easy, a mid level mob boss might be Difficult.

If during any of the investigation rolls, the Bounty Hunter rolls less than the Fugitive's Elusive Difficulty, then the Hunter suffers a set back.
I'm thinking:
The Fugitive gets wind he's being tracked and 'goes underground.' Which would increase hit Elusive Difficulty another level.

The Fugitive 'burns his trail' forcing the Bounty Hunter to reduce his accumulation to 0 and start over.

The Fugitive sends an accomplice to interfere with the Bounty Hunter (an encounter)

The Fugitive sets up an ambush. The Bounty Hunter thinks he's got his apprehension scene, but it's a set-up.

Alternatively, I was thinking about linking the total that must be accumulated directly to the Fugitive's Elusive rating; that way the Bounty Hunter doesn't know the exact number he is trying to accumulate.

On the other hand; it might be nice for him to get a feel for how warm or cold the trail is.

Also, I was thinking about expenses; giving the Bounty Hunter the option to pay a sum daily in order to give him a bonus on his rolls. This would be paying informants, admission to certain joints, Incidentals like petty fuel costs involved in the 'leg work'.
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would express Elusive rating as a difficulty, which serves as a threshhold for daily success... a Moderate bounty would require a moderate success for the day's totals to even count. Since month's are 35 days long, I'd put the usual total needed at about 30 times the rating... meaning, as a month winds down and the Bounty Hunter needs to scores, they start paying more for info... I'd say a base of 1% of bounty for useful information (i.e. +1 to the check), or 5% if the +1 is purchased after the roll.

So, let's say there's a 20,000cr bounty on someone with a Moderate (10) Elusiveness. The total, due to Elusiveness, is 300. Averaging one successful check a day will catch him with a week to spare. If he regularly beats that 10 Daily, he'll catch him faster. If he budgets for bribes and info, he spends about 200cr per +1... if he comes up short by 1 or 2 points, he might drop a 1000 or 2000 to make his daily quota.

TECHNICALLY, he can drop a lot of cash one day and get a crazy bonus... drop 6000cr and he gets a +30, which puts him well on his way, but also eats into his profits.
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Bren
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting ideas

Pro
Some sort of accumulative method is better than a single roll. I like tying in the value of the bounty in some way either information cost or total to accumulate.

Con
Rolling 1 check per day for a 20 or 30 days sounds like way too much rolling for me.

One method I've used in an Honor+Intrigue campaign was a search flow chart that I adapted to H+I. I think it was from the old Marvel Heroic Roleplaying system. The original was designed for finding a hidden base. I generalized it to any person, place, or thing sought. The searcher (could be the heroes or an NPC) started out with a difficulty based on how well hidden the item was. A Good or great Success moved you to a box that was closer to finding the item a Failure caused to move to a box farther from finding the item. Certain boxes triggered special effects like random events, finding a similar item, a clue, a tip-off to the target or owner of the item, or even required the searcher to start over. Generally it took more than 3 or 4 rolls but less than 15 rolls to find the item.
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the general idea behind this, but rather than a 1 roll = 1 day, why not make it 1 roll per week.. AND give the bounty being tracked a roll to see if he can give false leads to reduce the BH's total tracking roll..
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, 1 roll per week would be better.

I don't really want to give the quarry a counter-roll automatically. I think that would be appropriate once he knows someone specific is on his tail.

The difficulty of the 'Elusive' rating would account for a Fugitive generally trying to evade capture. But once he gets wind that there's a Bounty Hunter wearing 'X' armor and flying 'Y' type of ship asking around about him, the fugitive might start changing up his appearance and routines.

What skill might be used for that? Would investigation cover counter-investigation? Streetwise seems a legitimate use for street-level and underworld type hunts.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:
I would express Elusive rating as a difficulty, which serves as a threshhold for daily success... a Moderate bounty would require a moderate success for the day's totals to even count. Since month's are 35 days long, I'd put the usual total needed at about 30 times the rating... meaning, as a month winds down and the Bounty Hunter needs to scores, they start paying more for info... I'd say a base of 1% of bounty for useful information (i.e. +1 to the check), or 5% if the +1 is purchased after the roll.

So, let's say there's a 20,000cr bounty on someone with a Moderate (10) Elusiveness. The total, due to Elusiveness, is 300. Averaging one successful check a day will catch him with a week to spare. If he regularly beats that 10 Daily, he'll catch him faster. If he budgets for bribes and info, he spends about 200cr per +1... if he comes up short by 1 or 2 points, he might drop a 1000 or 2000 to make his daily quota.

TECHNICALLY, he can drop a lot of cash one day and get a crazy bonus... drop 6000cr and he gets a +30, which puts him well on his way, but also eats into his profits.


I like this. But would you run your math by me once more?

20,000cr bounty with a moderate Elusive rating (10).

Where do we get the 300 accumulation target?
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:
MrNexx wrote:
I would express Elusive rating as a difficulty, which serves as a threshhold for daily success... a Moderate bounty would require a moderate success for the day's totals to even count. Since month's are 35 days long, I'd put the usual total needed at about 30 times the rating... meaning, as a month winds down and the Bounty Hunter needs to scores, they start paying more for info... I'd say a base of 1% of bounty for useful information (i.e. +1 to the check), or 5% if the +1 is purchased after the roll.

So, let's say there's a 20,000cr bounty on someone with a Moderate (10) Elusiveness. The total, due to Elusiveness, is 300. Averaging one successful check a day will catch him with a week to spare. If he regularly beats that 10 Daily, he'll catch him faster. If he budgets for bribes and info, he spends about 200cr per +1... if he comes up short by 1 or 2 points, he might drop a 1000 or 2000 to make his daily quota.

TECHNICALLY, he can drop a lot of cash one day and get a crazy bonus... drop 6000cr and he gets a +30, which puts him well on his way, but also eats into his profits.


I like this. But would you run your math by me once more?

20,000cr bounty with a moderate Elusive rating (10).

Where do we get the 300 accumulation target?


Accumulation target is 30 times Elusive rating. In a solid nonth of tracking, that gives you 5 days where you can fail to meet the target number.

I do, however, really agree with the folks saying that daily rolls will get tedious, and weekly rolls would be better. In that case, you make the accumulatiin six times Elusiveness, still allowing a bad week.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One idea that I had was to allow investigation rolls to open up hints into the weaknesses of marks. Each thing gives bonuses on subsequent investigation/tracking rolls, as well as potentially giving bonuses against the mark.

The idea is that you learn enough about the person you're hunting, you get wise to their tricks, making it that much harder for them to manipulate or take you by surprise.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrNexx wrote:


Accumulation target is 30 times Elusive rating. In a solid nonth of tracking, that gives you 5 days where you can fail to meet the target number.

I do, however, really agree with the folks saying that daily rolls will get tedious, and weekly rolls would be better. In that case, you make the accumulatiin six times Elusiveness, still allowing a bad week.


Okay, right.

I got distracted by the percentages portion for determining credit cost for info.
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raven Redstar wrote:
One idea that I had was to allow investigation rolls to open up hints into the weaknesses of marks. Each thing gives bonuses on subsequent investigation/tracking rolls, as well as potentially giving bonuses against the mark.

The idea is that you learn enough about the person you're hunting, you get wise to their tricks, making it that much harder for them to manipulate or take you by surprise.


What would that look like in game terms?

Trying to be minimalist; if you get consistently decent rolls during the weeks-long investigation you are picking up on the mark's usual habits, practices, vices, etc which allows you to close in on them.

Rolling over the elusive difficulty means no set backs, which can include set-ups and ambushes, which works against the mark taking you by surprise.

What sort of bonuses against the mark were you thinking aside from getting a scene where the hunter has an opportunity to apprehend the mark?
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garhkal
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dredwulf60 wrote:

What skill might be used for that? Would investigation cover counter-investigation? Streetwise seems a legitimate use for street-level and underworld type hunts.


Con Specialization - disguise, Sneak specialization covering tracks, Computers to hack in and alter data that would lead to the target. Maybe streetwise.
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Raven Redstar
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What would that look like in game terms?

Trying to be minimalist; if you get consistently decent rolls during the weeks-long investigation you are picking up on the mark's usual habits, practices, vices, etc which allows you to close in on them.

Rolling over the elusive difficulty means no set backs, which can include set-ups and ambushes, which works against the mark taking you by surprise.

What sort of bonuses against the mark were you thinking aside from getting a scene where the hunter has an opportunity to apprehend the mark?


Depends, you could do a Die code bonus. Me, I'd probably give them a flat bonus in opposed rolls +1 to +16. The idea was that eventually, the character could actually talk the mark into coming in peacefully rather than everything boiling down to a gunfight. But, if it seems too much, you could limit the bonuses to non-combat rolls made against a particular mark.
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Naaman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some skills that may be relevant to a counter roll:

Streetwisse
Investigation
Law Enforcement
Hide (for obscuring physical clues that can't be otherwise avoided from being left behind)
Search (for recognizing when physical clues may have been inadvertantly left behind)
Intimidate or persuasion or bargain or con for manipulating others into protecting yor information.
Computer programming/repair, for covering your cyber tracks.
Astrogation for knowing alternate routes and for concealing travel patterns, etc.
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I GM a bounty hunter player occasionally. I make him roll everything.
Get a dossier: roll Investigation to see what you pick out. Bomb the roll and you only know the basics.
Use a computer: roll computer. Same as Investigation. Bomb the roll and you don't find much other than a name.
Talking to friends/family/neighbors: give them a bonus/penalty to Persuasion/Con depending on how well they know the target (or how much they want to help).

And one bit of advice: chases. Always find a way to involve a chase. Any complication means something gets in your way. Crashes are good!
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Dredwulf60
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmanski wrote:
I GM a bounty hunter player occasionally. I make him roll everything.
Get a dossier: roll Investigation to see what you pick out. Bomb the roll and you only know the basics.
Use a computer: roll computer. Same as Investigation. Bomb the roll and you don't find much other than a name.
Talking to friends/family/neighbors: give them a bonus/penalty to Persuasion/Con depending on how well they know the target (or how much they want to help).

And one bit of advice: chases. Always find a way to involve a chase. Any complication means something gets in your way. Crashes are good!


I agree with that approach when the hunt is the main meat of the meal, but sometimes it's just a side dish or appetizer.
Not a major criminal, necessarily, but maybe some guy who has missed a couple imperial court dates for space traffic infractions that the bounty hunter can poke around for while other players are spending time training for skills or retrofitting the freighter or otherwise busy for a few weeks of game time.

oh, and I've got chases covered brother!

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5900&highlight=

http://www.rancorpit.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5898&highlight=
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